Bedford Regional Water Authority

Water Authority Board Defers Rate Approval Due to Coronavirus

April 23, 2020

For the first time since the Bedford Regional Water Authority’s (BRWA) formation in 2012, the board did not move forward in approving the proposed rates after a public hearing for discussion of rates was held at the April 21 board meeting.

 “It would be irresponsible of the Authority to approve a rate structure at this time with our community and economic state in so much flux. We must think of the effects the coronavirus will have on the community and our ratepayers and gather more information before adjusting our rates,” stated Board Chair Bob Flynn.

The public hearing was held during the regularly scheduled BRWA board meeting on April 21, 2020. The public hearing had publicly been advertised in February and March, preparing for the hearing in April. The decision to hold the public hearing in April was made at the February board meeting, prior to the coronavirus having an impact in the local community.

To protect the health and safety of meeting attendees, public participants were able to attend the meeting and hearing virtually (via video or phone) to voice their opinions on the rates. While a few members of the public dialed into the meeting, only two people spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting. Both of these citizens spoke in regards to a special rate advertised for Paradise Point, a subdivision at Smith Mountain Lake that has requested the BRWA give a proposal on the cost of taking over ownership and operation of their private system. It is typical for smaller systems to come at a higher cost of operation, and therefore higher rates, which the residents of only that system pay.

After the board listened to the comments from the public, the attending board members unanimously agreed to postpone approving the rates until more information is available on how the coronavirus pandemic is going to effect the local community.
“The board’s decision to not approve a rate change at this time shows their empathy and understanding of the hardship our community is facing.  We are fortunate to have a board that is closely attuned to its customer’s needs as well as the BRWA’s,” said Brian Key, Executive Director at the Authority.
The board can approve an adjustment to the rates in the future, as long as the rates stay the same or are lower than the rates advertised. The proposed rates follow a ten-year equalization process as executed by Draper Aden Associates when the BRWA was first formed. The BRWA has elected to follow this rate structure every year in the past.
The BRWA board also agreed to delay approving the budget until May or June (the latest the budget approval process could be delayed due to the BRWA fiscal year beginning on July 1) to allow more time to evaluate the impacts of the coronavirus on the BRWA’s revenue.
About the Bedford Regional Water Authority:
The Authority provides water and wastewater services to the residents and businesses inside of Bedford County and the Town of Bedford, as well as partnering with the Western Virginia Water Authority for their Smith Mountain Lake service area in Franklin County, and providing operational assistance to the Bedford County Public Schools for many of their wastewater treatment plants. Visit for further information.
For information contact:
Megan Aubrey
Director of Administration
Bedford County Regional Water Authority
540-586-7679 ext. 121


May 19, 7pm

Regular Board Meeting

May 25

Memorial Day
Offices Closed

June 16, 7pm

Regular Board Meeting
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1723 Falling Creek Road
Bedford, VA 24523
(540) 586-7679
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Bedford Regional Water Authority · 1723 Falling Creek Road · Bedford, VA 24523 · USA

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